Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - October - 2009 Issue

Voyages and Travel from Maggs Bros.

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Voyages & Travel from Maggs Bros.


By Michael Stillman

The historic London bookselling firm of Maggs Bros. Ltd. has issued its 1,435th catalogue: Voyages & Travel. It includes books that cover trips all over the world, so Maggs Bros. has grouped the books into regions which include the Americas, Near and Far East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia, even the Arctic and Antarctic. There is much in the way of discovery to be found in this catalogue, which takes you back to an era of great adventure. These are a few of the items being offered by Maggs.

Item 461 is a very rare work of early Americana, God's Protecting Providence... Evidenced in the Remarkable Deliverance of Robert Barrow with divers other persons, from the Devouring Waves of the Sea, amongst which they suffered Shipwrack [sic]: And also, From the Cruel Devouring Jaws of the Inhuman Canibals [sic] of Florida, by Jonathan Dickenson. This is a gripping story of a group of people, including the author and Barrow, shipwrecked along the Florida coast. They were captured and robbed by Indians, but allowed to proceed by foot up the coast to St Augustine, 200 miles away. There they were befriended by the Spanish and sent north, first reaching Charleston after another arduous trek, and finally Philadelphia. Wright Howes says of their story, "The almost incredible adventures of these men, women and children in the hands of their Indian captors and their hardships and hunger endured on a march from Southeast Fla. to St. Augustine and along the wild coast of Ga. and Carolina to Charleston can not be equalled either in fiction or history." This book provides one of the best accounts of 17th century Florida Indians as well as the coast from St. Augustine to Charleston. Offered is one of two printings of the 1700 second edition, this one from London (the other is from Philadelphia). The 1699 Philadelphia first edition is considered unobtainable, with the second edition, as described during the Streeter sale of 1967, as "almost as rare as the first edition." Priced at £16,000 (British pounds, or about $26,532 in U.S. dollars).

Item 293 is an account of a very different, though also quite dangerous adventure. It is Richard Burton's Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to El-Medinah and Meccah, published in 1855-1856 (three volumes). Maggs describes this as, "...perhaps the most famous of Burton's travel books," of which he produced many. Burton disguised himself a Moslem pilgrim in order to make the sacred journey to Mecca, the first English Christian to do so. Naturally, Burton had to become very familiar with the language and customs of his fellow pilgrims. £8,750 (US $14,502).

Here is another item for Burton collectors: Journal of the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, from January 1849. This includes the first printed work produced by Burton. Item 337. £2,500 (US $4,143).

Item 363 is a rarely found early Spanish-American War piece, Spanish-American War, 1898. The USS "Baltimore", at the Battle of Manila Bay... The war was barely a week old when this battle took place on May 1, 1898. The American forces commanded by Admiral George Dewey won a decisive victory that day. Within a couple of months, the war was over and America controlled the Philippines. £850 (US $1,408).

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Frances Palmer, <i>Battle of Buena Vista,</i> chromolithograph, New York, 1847. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma, the earliest publication concerned solely with chocolate, first edition, Madrid, 1631. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Romans Bernard, <i>An Exact View of the Late Battle at Charlestown, June 17th, 1775,</i> engraving, 1776. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> <i>A Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre in Boston,</i> English edition, London, 1770. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> William Soule, <i>Lodge of the Plains Indians,</i> albumen print, 1872. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Manuscript document to enforce New York’s “Agreement of Non-Importation” during the heyday of the Sons of Liberty, New York, 1769. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Clarence Mackenzie, <i>Drummer Boy of the 13th Regiment of Brooklyn,</i> salt print with applied color, 1861. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Moses Lopez, <i>A Lunar Calendar,</i> first Jewish calendar published in America, Newport, RI, 1806. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b><br>The Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $30,000 to $40,000.
  • <center><b>Gonnelli Auction House<br>Books and Graphics<br>19th, 20th and 21st April 2021</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 19-21<br>Books from XVI to XX Century</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 20<br>Atlases and Maps</b
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br> Veneto and Venice, a Selection of Books from the XVI to XX century</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 20<br></b>Rossini Gioachino, Baguette de chef d'orchestre appartenuta a Gioachino Rossini, dono del Comune di Passy. 1500 €
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br></b>Manetti Saverio, Storia naturale degli uccelli trattata con metodo. Cinque volumi. 1767. 18.000 €
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br></b>Poe Edgar Allan, Double assassinat dans la rue morgue. Illustrations de Cura. 1946.
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 19-21<br>Books from XVI to XX Century</b>
  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript, Part 2<br>27 April 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Ronald Reagan. Series of 37 letters to Senator George Murphy, and related material, 1968-90. £50,000 to £70,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Chaim Weizmann. Autograph letter signed, to General Sir Gilbert Clayton, 6 September 1918. £20,000 to £30,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Sir Winston Churchill. Autograph letter signed, to Pamela, Lady Lytton, 1942. £20,000 to $30,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript, Part 2<br>27 April 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Oscar Wilde. Five autograph letters signed, to Alsager Vian, 1887. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Napoleon I. Letter signed to Admiral Ganteaume, ordering the invasion of England, 22 August 1805. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Horatio, Viscount Nelson, and Emma Hamilton. Two autograph letter signed, to Catherine and George Matcham, 1805. £6,000 to £8,000.

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